Cavaliers dump coach after poor play-off performance

Brown, the most successful coach in the Cavaliers' history, was fired on Monday after failing to win a championship with superstar and soon-to-be free agent LeBron James.

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CLEVELAND // Mike Brown won everything in five years coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers. Everything, that is, except an NBA title. Brown, the most successful coach in the Cavaliers' history, was fired on Monday after failing to win a championship with superstar and soon-to-be free agent LeBron James. Brown's dismissal had been expected since the Cavs were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the play-offs, a stunning exit for a team favoured to win it all.

In five seasons, Brown, who had one year left on his contract, went 314-177 and was the league's Coach of the Year in 2009. He took Cleveland to the post-season every year and led the Cavaliers to their only finals appearance in 2007. But the Cavs, despite having the best regular-season record the past two years, fell short of winning their first title. Dan Gilbert, the Cavaliers owner, made the decision to fire Brown following an organisational review that began following the team's stunning collapse. Cleveland had a 2-1 series lead over the Celtics before losing three straight.

"After a long and deep analysis of all of the factors that led to the disappointing early ends to our play-off runs over the past two seasons, we concluded that it was time for the Cavaliers to move in a different direction," Gilbert said in a statement. Brown is expected to get a long look from the five other teams with head coaching vacancies. * AP